Letter to Harut Sassounian (California Courier)

Dear Mr. Sassounian!

Re: Prof. Auron Blasts Israel’s President For Calling ‘Armenian Genocide’ a Massacre, dtd. 10. February 2015

I really am sorry for you that you have to live through these rather frustrating times. Your terrorism (ASALA) didn’t work. Supporting the PKK lead to nothing.Your propaganda since 1958 seems to have failed miserably too. Depression is a fruit of frustration, and hopefully it doensn’t kill you.You might think that what doesn’t kill you, makes you strong! But don’t you worry, those who die early are dead longer.

Why do I think you must be frustrated? After the official refusal by the governments of Australia, Germany and the UK, you now have the State of Israel refusing to acknowledge your historical myth. Considering all your futile efforts in the so called centennial, it must not only be frustrating but hurtful and agonizing. Such bad luck! Yes, hard luck old chap.

If there was a grain of decency in you Sir, you would at least acknowledge and show sadnes about the indescriminate atrocities committed by Armenian armed forces in the 20th century
on innocent civilians in Kochali and other parts of Karabag.

You, Sir, have made a habit of labelling everyone who do not agree with your version of history as “Genocide Deniers”. Interesting also how you misuse the position of an Israeli academic who works for an Armenian University in Yerevan. I can imagine what could happen to him should he dare disagree with the Armenian version of the story! Even poor Hasan Cemal got his portion of Armenian fanaticism during a recent lecture in Armenia.

Mr. Sassounian; you are not the youngest anymore, do yourself a favour and get rid of your evil thoughts, because your thoughts become actions, your actions then become a habit, and your habits determine your character. What sort of heritage are you going to leave behind for future Armenian generations? At your age, I would think of that intensively and sincerely.

Kufi Seydali

Kufi Seydali

Armenian “Settled History Syndrome”: An affliction that runs deep in the media

By Ferruh Demirmen

Anyone who tries to see or instill a measure of balance or open mindedness in the Western media on the question of Armenian “genocide” will soon discover he/she is out of luck. For the phenomenon, which I call the “Settled History Syndrome,” is not only palpable, but also widespread. It runs deep in the media across Europe and America. It is not new, but deserves special recognition under a name of its own – hence the term coined here. It is the product of year-in, year-out incessant propaganda perpetrated by the Armenian lobby on the so-called “Armenian genocide.”

The syndrome explains how a group of certain historians or scholars, supposedly open minded, gather to discuss Armenian “genocide,” but colleagues who disagree are kept away as misguided renegades.

It explains why anyone who challenges the Armenian version of history is labeled “Genocide denier,” often citing a self-appointed group called ”The International Association of Genocide Scholars“ as the infallible arbiter.

It explains how minds are frozen, debate is stifled, and freedom of opinion is trampled upon – truth being the ultimate casualty.

It explains how money and influence, fed by prejudice, create a cadre of ill-informed politicians and general public. The media, itself thrown into deep freeze, commonly plays the role of the facilitator.

Turks who want to fight unfounded accusations from the Armenian side must first deal with this mindset affecting the media.

Examples are myriad. I will first relay an anecdote, then continue with a recent example, both from America. No doubt, what goes on in America also goes on in Europe, with some mutations.

The PBS Episode

Time is early 2006. PBS, the national Public Broadcasting Service in America, is planning to air on April 17 a supposed TV documentary called “Armenian Genocide.” The film, directed by Andrew Goldberg and bankrolled by more than 30 largely Armenian foundations in America, will surely be an anti-Turkish diatribe based on distorted history. I and a small group of Turks and Turkish Americans contact the PBS headquarters in Alexandria , Virginia, to protest the screening of a one-sided story. (As it turned out, the film shamelessly started with a macabre scene of human skulls taken from a 1871 painting by a Russian artist. For a fuller account, see F. Demirmen, Turkish Daily News, April 24, 2006). We argued that, if PBS decides to go ahead with the screening, it should also show, as a balancing act, “The Armenian Revolt,” a newly released documentary directed by Marty Callaghan.

The PBS headquarters did not change its mind. And the screening of “The Armenian Revolt” was out of consideration.

I then took my case to the affiliate of PBS in Houston Texas, which was also planning to air “Armenian genocide.” Commenting on the film, the channel’s website carried the statement: “The International Association of Genocide Scholars affirms that the number of Armenian deaths at the hands of Ottoman Turks …” It was a reminder to the viewers that the “genocide” was a shut case.

Nonetheless, I thought I should still try to educate the Houston channel, that what they would be airing was a prejudiced and distorted story. To that end, I contacted the programming director and sent him some archival material. After back-and-forth correspondence, I had my fingers crossed. At the end, the channel didn’t change its plans, but the programming director made an admission, which was revealing. He remarked that until I contacted him, they had assumed that “genocide” was a “settled history.”

It was a Lilliputian victory. But it showed what the Turkish side is against: a mindset more or less frozen on its track.

Pasadena Star Episode

Fast forward 9 years. On January 15, 2015, the Pasadena Star in California published a news article titled: “Ground broken on Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial.” It was an announcement that the monument would be completed on April 18, ahead of the “100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24.” Pasadena happens to be next door to Los Angeles, a hotbed of Diaspora activism.

As the Star put it, the monument would take “the form of a 16-foot-tall tripod … with water drops dripping … to represent each of the 1.5 million lives cut short by the Ottoman Turks in the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to 1923.” The droplets would “fall every 21 seconds, so that 1.5 million drops will fall annually.” The tripod would represent “similarly shaped structures which Armenian leaders were hanged from during the Armenian Genocide.” Surrounding the tripod and stonework would be “12 pomegranate trees, representing each of the 12 lost provinces of Armenia.”

Pictures of Armenian clerics solemnly praying at the ground breaking ceremony and an artist’s rendition of the tripod-shaped monument were included in the news.

The description and symbolism were chilling; but infused in all was a prejudiced and distorted history. Particularly notable in the article was the absolutist tone in the language. “Genocide” was treated as a fact, with no hint as to its disputable character.

Considering their mindset, I hesitated contacting the Star to express my disagreement that Armenian “genocide” is a fact. But the invitation at the end of the article, for readers to engage in “insightful conversations,“ was too good to resist. I also thought that, instead of sending a short blog, I should lay out my arguments in a full article so as to enlighten them. I informed the Star of my intention to submit a dissenting view, and proposed that they publish it as a stand-alone contribution by a guest writer. Their initial reaction was encouraging. They asked me to send in my article.

In the article I took special care to acknowledge Armenian sufferings and losses, but also mentioned sufferings and losses on the Muslim side. I pointed to certain facts, and made corrections to some of the allegations in the article. I also tried to strike a conciliatory note, referring to the calls of Armenian religious leaders in Turkey, and pointed to the poisoning effect such a monument would have on the Armenian-Turkish relations in America. It was an appeal for “peace.” While I did not expect they would agree with my views, my expectations were high that the Star would publish my article – if for no reason than journalistic curiosity and respect for dissenting views.

The response from the Star was an eye opener:

“Yes. We don’t print op-eds by Holocaust deniers, nor articles denying the settled history of the Armenian genocide, recognized now by 23 countries and by the vast majority of scholars and historians not in the pay of the Turkish government.”

So, I was a “Genocide denier,” and Armenian “genocide” was a settled history, the arbiter presumably being the all-knowing International Association of Genocide Scholars. Case shut. Opinions and facts brought forward by others will not change anything.

The response was the embodiment of a frozen mind. Frozen in time, frozen in space. Here was another example of the “Settled History Syndrome.”

Letter to Harut Sassounian, “Countries selling weapons..”

Dear Mr. Sassounian!

Having read your most recent article “Countries selling weapons to Azerbaijan are just as guilty for attacks on Artsakh = Karabag”, I must say that your leading article is simply an unworthy attack on Azerbaijan. Your article, Sir, not written with a journalistic style but with the genetic lines of a propaganda Minister of a country at war, is, slowly but surely killing off your credibility.

You are forgetting, of course, who is the aggressor and occupier of land belonging to Azerbaijan! Just to refresh your memory:

“ … By the end of the war in 1994, the Armenians were in full control of most of the enclave and also held and currently control approximately 9% of Azerbaijan’s territory outside the enclave. As many as 230,000 Armenians from Azerbaijan and 800,000 Azeris from Armenia and Karabakh have been displaced as a result of the conflict. A Russian-brokered ceasefire was signed in May 1994 and peace talks, mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group, have been held ever since by Armenia and Azerbaijan.”

Current Situation:

“In the years since the end of the war, a number of organizations have passed resolutions regarding the conflict. On 25 January 2005, for example, PACE adopted a controversial non-binding resolution, Resolution 1416, which criticized the “large-scale ethnic expulsion and the creation of mono-ethnic areas” and declared that Armenian forces were occupying Azerbaijan lands.[187][188] On 14 May 2008 thirty-nine countries from the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 62/243 which called for “the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan.” Almost one hundred countries, however, abstained from voting while seven countries, including the three co-chairs of the Minsk Group, Russia, the United States, and France, voted against it.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagorno-Karabakh_War#cite_note-CIA-FACTBOOK-AJ-36 ).

These are the facts Mr. Sassounian. Furthermore, don’t forget that; you are the master of your evil thoughts, the moulder of your character, and the shaper of your condition, environment and destiny. An ignoble and bestial character is the result of the continued harboring of gravelling thoughts.

Your call for retaliation, revenge and disproportionate use of force shows what a sick character you are! You , Mr. Sassounian, sitting in the comfort of California have no idea of life in poor Armenia, and what it means to make war and suffer the destruction as such! There are no winners in a war, only loosers. The only winners are the ones (Israel, Russia) supplying the expensive weapons. Wake up Mr. Sassounian and rid yourself from your evil thoughts. As soon as you have done that, and your thoughts become healthy and beneficial to all man kind, joy will soon follow you as surely as your shadow follows you on a sunny day.


Kufi Seydali

Küfi Seydali

Armenian Parliament Rejects Recognition Of Azerbaijan’s Karabakh Region As A Separate Independent State‏


Armenian parliament rejected Nov. 12 the oppositional Heritage faction’s draft law, submitted in extraordinary manner, which stipulates recognition of independence of Azerbaijan’s separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Novosti-Armenia news agency reported.

Prior to the voting on the draft law, Artak Zakarian, an MP from the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) faction said the RPA believes that the draft law is not timely, so the RPA faction will not participate in the voting.

Thus, the draft law gained 8 votes “in favor”, with one abstention. Other MPs didn’t vote.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.

As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Kufi Seydali  Kufi Seydali


Armenian Australian church leader ‘was a KGB spy’

Archbishop Aghan BaliozianPhillip Dorling

A highly respected Australian church leader was a KGB spy, according to newly released Russian intelligence archives.

Archbishop Aghan Baliozian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Australia and New Zealand, was listed as a KGB agent, codenamed “Zorik” in the papers of former KGB archivist and defector Vasili Mitrokhin, which were released by the UK’s Churchill College Archive last month.

Born in Syria in 1946, the late Archbishop Baliozian arrived in Australia in 1975 to serve as Vicar General of the diocese of the Armenian Church before being appointed as Primate of Australia and New Zealand in 1982.

A highly respected religious leader and a well-known figure in Chatswood, Sydney, Archbishop Baliozian was strongly committed to ecumenism, working for cooperation and greater unity between Christian churches.

He was the first president of the National Council of Churches in Australia from 1994 to 1997 and president of the NSW Ecumenical Council from 2005 to 2007. He represented the Armenian Church at the World Council of Churches.

Archbishop Baliozian was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1995 “in recognition of service to the Armenian community” and the Centenary Medal in 2001, again for community service.

However, Mitrokhin’s papers on KGB espionage operations in Australia allege Archbishop Baliozian was recruited by Soviet intelligence in 1973 while undertaking theological studies in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, then part of the Soviet Union.

According to Mitrokhin’s notes of Soviet state security files, Aghan Baliozian went on to work as a KGB agent while studying and teaching in Jerusalem in 1974, and maintained “ongoing communications in three countries”. He continued contact with the KGB after he transferred to the Armenian Church in Australia, according to the papers.

However, Mitrokhin’s papers also suggest that his performance in Australia was considered unsatisfactory. The third department of the KGB’s foreign intelligence directorate, responsible for operations in Australia, concluded Archbishop Baliozian had “insufficient operational training” and eventually discontinued his employment.

The precise terms of Archbishop Baliozian’s separation from the KGB are not recorded in Mitrokhin’s notes and it is not known whether he had any further dealings with Soviet intelligence in the 1980s.

Mitrokhin’s notes of KGB files record Soviet state security’s extensive efforts to recruit clergy as agents and informants, especially in churches with a significant presence in the former Soviet Union.

British intelligence historian Christopher Andrew, who collaborated with Mitrokhin on two books, claims that, during the Cold War the KGB recruited a number of representatives on the World Council of Churches, mainly from the Russian Orthodox Church but from other denominations as well, in successful efforts to influence the Council’s policies.

Archbishop Baliozian died in September 2012. More than 600 people attended his funeral at the Armenian Apostolic Church in Chatswood, including three archbishops from Jerusalem, India and Armenia.

Many NSW political figures paid tribute to the archbishop, with Liberal MP Jonathan O’Dea applauding his commitment to inter-religious dialogue as well as his abilities as an orator.

“Always approachable and gregarious, the archbishop was captivating as a speaker… He would simply speak from the heart, capturing the attention of young and old in his congregation and developing a strong and loyal following,” Mr O’Dea told the NSW Parliament.

m.smh.com.au, August 12, 2014